Latest Posts

Work Health & Safety

February 1, 2016
Steven Carruthers

The tragic death of a 60-year-old farm worker after falling from a hothouse roof is a reminder to all growers of the need for safe work systems. The worker had been attempting to remove plastic covering when he lost his balance and fell about 2.5 metres, suffering a fractured spine, spinal cord damage and quadriplegia. The worker passed away from health complications while in hospital following the incident. Safework NSW charged the business and its director with a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) for failing to comply with their duty. They were both found guilty in the District Court and fined a total of A$165,000. Read More »

Do you need to whitewash a greenhouse with UV protective glass?

February 1, 2016
Rick Donnan

Your question implies that the main function of applying whitewash to a greenhouse cover is to prevent the transmission of UV (ultra violet) light into the greenhouse. This is not correct. The main function of whitewash is to reduce the heat load upon the crop in the greenhouse by reflecting a significant proportion of the incoming Infra Red (heat) portion of solar radiation. This is aimed at periods of high solar radiation, that is, around summer. Read More »

To market, to market

February 1, 2016
More than 4,000 businesses use Melbourne Wholesale Fruit Vegetable and Flower Market as a base, buying and selling fresh produce in the early hours of the morning for distribution across Victoria and Australia.

After 10 years of political wrangling amid various stakeholders together with a relocation budget blowout, the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit Vegetable and Flower Market has moved premises to its new site in Epping, Victoria. Around 3,000 small businesses are involved in the markets, including 600 growers.


Carbon Dioxide Fertilisation

January 1, 2016
Steven Carruthers
Managing Editor

In the broad debate on climate change, the Australian horticulture industry is a small contributor of carbon dioxide emissions, representing just 1% of national agriculture emissions (National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2007). However, while fertilisers are seen as the only source of emissions from horticulture in the national inventory, there are other direct and indirect emissions from horticulture, such as fuel and electricity. While net CO2 emissions are small, existing and future climate change policies place little importance on horticulture and particularly the protected cropping industry, which is a consumer of carbon dioxide to improve crop quality and yields. Read More »

How do I grow hydroponic mint?

January 1, 2016
Rick Donnan

I have read the article on mint in your Issue 132. I am also trying to grow mint in hydroponics in India. Would you please guide me in a few things:

  • What is water pH and TDS levels? 
  • What is the temperature to be maintained in the greenhouse?
  • What is the pest control method used? 
  • What nutrients are used?


Read More »

Sustainable energy

January 1, 2016

Carbon dioxide options for commercial greenhouses

The changing landscape of fossil fuels presents increasing business risks for Australian domestic industrial and commercial energy consumers. Rising costs and uncertain supply of natural gas (1) and the existing high price of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) represent a significant portion of this risk. Adding complexity to this changing landscape is mounting international pressure on Australian policy makers to replace fossil-fuelled energy with renewable alternatives. Horticulturists use natural gas and LPG for greenhouse environment management and as a result are left exposed to an uncertain future.

By IAN GESCH Read More »

Have your say on bees and pollination

December 19, 2015

To better understand current use of pollination across the horticultural and agricultural sectors and help design research projects that address industry trends and needs, Plant & Food Research (NZ) is asking growers and beekeepers to share their current practices and their thoughts on future pollination requirements. Read More »